Twitter Rules

One of my blogging friends saw that I had added a Twitter account over there on the sidebar. I admit it, I caved to the peer pressure; I didn’t want to be left out of the loop; I wanted to play where the cool kids play. Anyway, this blogging friend, who shall remain anonymous unless he/she wants to own up to it, expressed some worries about Twitter:

“I got started on it, and it quickly snowballed, in terms of time spent on it. I do get a bit of traffic from it, but not a ton. I’m confused about whether I should be posting personal stuff or [professional] stuff. and how do you follow a ton of people? Where do you jump in? How often should you check and update? These are some of my questions. — and then, there’s the annoying outages that have been happening recently.”

I thought these questions, posed to me, were hilarious, because I had literally only been on Twitter for a few hours…I was a very very very n00by n00b. It hadn’t even occurred to me to ask any of them. But to help out, because I’m helpful, I sent a list of Twitter rules that I, uh, made up:

1. tweet, or don’t.

2. you can easily overthink 140 characters, so if you are thinking too hard about it, don’t post.

3. you need have no shame on Twitter: feel free to post about new blog posts at your site.

4. you need have no shame on Twitter: feel free to post about how awesome your new shoes are

5. you need have no shame on Twitter.

6. you can easily overthink 140 characters, so if you are thinking too hard about it, post immediately.

7. Twitter is a firehose: don’t try to keep up.

8. Twitter is like a snowstorm: open your mouth and see what lands on your tongue, but don’t try to eat the drifts.

That’s all I can think of right now. As for following a ton of people, I don’t imagine I will. Or rather, as I start to follow more people I’ll realize even more that I can’t keep up, so I’ll stop beating myself up about missing a tweet. They’re tweets, not essays. Ah, I’ve found another:

9. Like little candies to gourmet meals, so do tweets stand to blog posts. You don’t really want to miss too many meals, but who cares if you only eat one candy a week.

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